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This area contains maintenance information as well as other reference material for the Suzuki Volusia VL 800 and Suzuki Boulevard C50 motorcycles. Items such as installation guides, owners manuals, and step by step tutorials can be found here. This area is read only, and only Administrators or Moderators can add files here. If you have a file that you would like to offer, please send a private message the Admin.



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PostPosted: March 31st, 2011, 10:18 am 
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Step by Step for making your own fiberglass Saddlebags.

I used the foam board method. Purchase several sheets of 1" foam board.

Next create your shape using a piece of cardboard to create a profile of your bags.

Cut the sheets to a rough shape of what your looking for leaving 1 to 2 inches of extra. ( the inner sheets should have the centers cut out to make for easier removal )

Glue the sheets together using foam glue. Align the sheets and press together using something heavy to hold them together.
(example I used 9 layers for mine)

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Wait a days for this to dry.

Now you have to shape it. (hot knife hand saw sanding) I cut two pieces of wood exactly the same and put them together on either side of my bag and then used a sawzall with a long blade, making sure to not cut into the wood.

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Once you have finalized your shape and have to of them the same it's time to tape.(masking tape)

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Tape each one with two or three layers of overlapping tape.

If you do this the final layer may be not to smooth. If you want to make it smooth so the painter doesn't have to work to hard to smooth it out after you've taped it use a body filler over the tape (all over) and sand smooth.

Plan a opening or door of some kind.

A door will be done in the same fashion just later same for a lid.

Now it's time to start glassing. Read the waring labels and use in a well ventilated area. I used 32oz mat and lots of resin.

You will do one side at a time. Mix up some resin and lay it down on one side using a brush (that won't melt NO SPONGES) Get lots of brushes you can't clean them and it's not worth it. Also mix your resin in a plastic bucket when it dries you can crack it out and use the bucket again.

Layer each side all sides with resin allowing time to harden on each side. (smooth any rough spots with a power sander as resin is hard to sand)

Now cut your glass to fit with interlocking over lays on the edges this will make it easier to strengthen the corners. If you overlap try not to do so on the next layer in the same way as to keep the surface smooth. (smooth out any rough areas or fibers that didn't lay down)

With time to dry on each side and layer do two layers and then the final layer is resin only. Be generous as to create a smooth surface.

Once your done. Resin, glass/resin, glass/resin, resin. Time to do the same steps for a lid or door. The trick here is to (masking) tape off the area of overlap where the door or lid over laps what you have done.

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When the lid is done pry it off and take it easy but it will come off.

Now dig out the foam there is no easy way to do this. Try a screw driver to break it up into pieces or a dremel.

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The tape will want to stick and the foam is tough but try to not pry against your new fiberglass.

The pics I've provided are of my old and new bags note the design change I also layered in some expanded aluminum for extra strength.

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Then go have someone paint them

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I hope this is helpful to someone.


Last edited by Da_Skunk on March 31st, 2011, 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2011, 10:40 am 
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Nice tutorial Keith, not sure if anyone but you can pull this off, but hey, more power to them!

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2011, 10:51 am 
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I agree, great tutorial!

I have wanted to do this for awhile, but time, money, engery and brains were lacking.

Heck I can scrath off the brains part! You provided that!

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2011, 10:54 am 
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does the wood stay in or does that get pryed off as well?

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2011, 11:10 am 
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Very cool........who knows there nay be some of those babies hanging fom a Kawasaki or something one day.

CG

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2011, 1:22 pm 
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Headhunter wrote:
does the wood stay in or does that get pryed off as well?

I'd guess the wood comes off too, for space and weight reasons. He did add metal to shore up the rigidity of the bag.

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2011, 1:51 pm 
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Great work and write-up Keith!!

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2011, 1:54 pm 
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Mind if I move this over to the library? Would be great reference material.

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2011, 9:02 pm 
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Doc wrote:
Mind if I move this over to the library? Would be great reference material.

No that's fine, you go right ahead.

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2011, 9:17 pm 
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The wood comes off. It's there just to hold the foam together.

Doc you can move it to the library.


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